Bobby DeAngelo picked me up at 830 am sharp from "Meant to Be" and helps me load all my stuff (Meant to Be was also a historical site that I stumbled onto). He stops at the local Dunkin Donuts so I can get a quick something and off we go to the vessel. We chat about Hawk Mountain and this logistics of this journey, it is about a 20 minute drive north to the canoe.
We get to River Winds. He wants to check out the canoe, especially the spray deck! We unload my gear onto the sidewalk, shake hands, and he makes me promise I will call him if there is anything I need (my first Bald Eagle flies overhead!). Again, my new Paulsboro friends are wonderful!!! I later recieved a phone message from Elsie checking in on me, thanks Elsie!
This River Winds area seems to get a number of folks driving in and parking to look over the water. Today there are four onlookers. They are all watching this guy manuever this canoe, load it with multiple "weird" looking bags, and then proceed to "wrestle" on this type of space suit (entire process takes 40 minutes). Only to get shoved off and blown immediatly backwards about 30 yards.
NOT GOING ANYWHERE TODAY!
I thought it would be futile for making any kind of miles. Heavy winds like this is not good conditions for any small craft. I did atleast think I could pole my away along the shoreline for five or so miles. NOT A CHANCE.
I then ran into another wildlife enthusiast, Warren Lentz, walking shoreline, binocs around neck. He picked up a crab. I believe this is a small guy of that Delaware Bay delicacy, the Atlantic blue crab. This particular one will not be eaten today, atleast not by Warren or myself. We swapped a few stories. He said there were some ponds nearby where widgeons and canvasbacks were sighted. I thought I may venture there, especially if I am stranded more than today. He will also be making a visit to Hawk Mountain in the not to distant future.
Birded the cove, scope blew over twice. Thought I would seek shelter in the restaurant and do some catch up on BLOGGING.
Now this is a fancy place-people come to the River Winds for the great food, drink, and atmosphere. I am looking slightly like a "homeless" guy at this point, and actually come to think about it, I am. I approach the front desk and start to explain my situation. They say no problem and I proceed to the empty bar, I show the bartender my credentials, a lamenated copy of the Morning Call article(thank you Kathy!) and order a refreshment.
Unlike most homeless folks I then begin to set up my mobile office. This consists of all the stuff you have seen in a previous river side photo, value of about $2500 worth of hardware. In other words, I have my Teva's on, fleece, comfy wind pants, I am settling in for the day, and it is only 11:45Am.
I turn on all my hardware and figured I would check out facebook. My son, West, is now 8-0. Cody sends her regards. Logan after seeing the photo to the right comments that the wilderness looks pretty rough. Then very quickly I am chatting with multiple friends. I had several going at a time. Whew! That was some workout. I then excuse myself to check on my canoe due to the rising tide, so I took a quick walk and pulled it up farther and re-tied off.
I come back in and begin to enter a BLOG combined with ordering enough so they do not think about kicking me out. I could only conjure up one group of ladies that came in for lunch to tell about Hawk Mountain. They were interested and the one promised she was going to look up the website at home.
I also made some phone calls, passing the time while I form my plan? Getting the weather updates, watching the whitecaps, watching the ships, seeing the flag being tugged like it was going to take flight any minute.
This all made me realize I was not going to make any forward progress today, or tomorrow. Now that is not a problem if I was near the end of the journey, I factored in two extra days, but on the first two days of this long section, it is a concern. Especially because it is hanging out in this very urban/industrial area. My Paulsboro friends had offered for me to stay or whatever I needed. I GREATLY appreciated the kindness but did not want to be a burden and outstay my welcome. Judith was one of the phone calls I made and she had off from work, GREAT! In the drop of a hat she was on her way, this was at 3:30 pm. Sally O'Bryne, across the Delaware river also offered, thank you Sally!
Jude walks in a little after 5pm. Great time! We had dinner and ventured out looking for lodging in this urban meca. First loading once again all the stuff, which means disassembling the spray deck cover.
With the multiple trips made to haul all the gear, amongst all the onlookers huddled in their vehicles, wondering, I am sure, what the?
Lodging is not that hard to find. A Best Western with wifi! Great, good connection means faster uploads! The day was not all that exciting. Sorry, but that is all part of trekking! Having problems and challenges rise that are not planned, and dealing with them. Yvon Chouinard said in the movie 180 Degrees South, " The adventure begins when things go wrong."
This BLOG is mostly written from the safety of my tent while the wind is howling outside!